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Who orders $2,900 worth of perfume on DoorDash? That and other fun delivery trends from 2021

DoorDash report looks at order trends, habit changes for Americans in 2021

DoorDash’s mid-year report on delivery trends found a $2,900 order for perfumes, and comfort food and grooming supplies seeing large order growth through the first six months of 2021. (Photo: Sarah Pflug/Burst/Shopify)

As vaccines became readily available and Americans looked to return to office spaces, travel and entertainment, DoorDash (NYSE: DASH) reported a huge surge in orders of shampoo and conditioner.

Once again, grooming became important.

The delivery firm recently released results of its Deep Dish Report, a midyear look at how consumer purchasing and life habits have changed so far in 2021 by analyzing order information on the DoorDash platform from Jan. 1 through June 1.

“2020 was a year filled with many unknowns and as we settle into 2021, the past six months have continued to show the resilience of businesses, restaurants and people nationwide as we forge closer to a reopened world,” DoorDash wrote on a blog entry announcing the survey result. “With vaccines becoming readily available and businesses preparing to open their doors again, connection, convenience and comforting food remain an important part of our customers’ lives.”

In addition to analyzing order trends, DoorDash also commissioned Pollfish to conduct a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults in late May to look into what habits have changed through the pandemic. The results of that found that 68% of Americans plan to visit new places and 63% expect to try new restaurants.

The survey also found that 95% of Americans said they supported local businesses in 2020 and 91% supported Black-owned, women-owned or Asian-American-owned businesses. In addition, 65% of those responding to the survey said they would rather give up social media than never have an item delivered again.

Read: Investors send DoorDash stock soaring on strong earnings, outlook

Read: DoorDash adjusts pricing scheme, lowering some costs for restaurants

But it was the data analysis that identified true changes in habits. Shampoo orders on the DoorDash platform increased 1,233% in the first half of 2021, and conditioner orders were up 1,339%, ostensibly because Americans were more likely to leave the house. Tampons (686%), condoms (286%) and vitamins (254%) also showed large increases.

The largest single order on the DoorDash platform in the first half of 2021 was a $2,955 order for 35 bottles of luxury perfume. Wonder what that driver got as a tip?

So-called fun foods also saw an increase. The top 10 were:

  1. Chocolate shake (440% increase) 
  2. Chicken nuggets (410% increase) 
  3. Cheese pizza (362% increase) 
  4. Spicy chicken sandwich (286% increase) 
  5. Beef burrito (248% increase) 
  6. Hot sauce (201% increase) 
  7. Blueberry muffin (161% increase) 
  8. Bacon cheeseburger (113% increase) 
  9. Sausage and egg sandwich (107% increase) 
  10. Nachos (103% increase) 

Comfort and snack foods like french fries, quesadillas, iced coffee, boneless wings and chocolate chip cookies remained popular on the platform. Glazed doughnuts saw a 501% increase in orders in the first half of 2021, while sweet tea was up 284%.

The survey also found that 65% of Americans expected to begin celebrating birthdays and holidays with family and friends again. California, Texas and New York represented the states with the most gifting orders placed.

DoorDash reported Q1 revenue grew 198% year-over-year to $1.1 billion in Q1 and was up from $970 million in Q4 2020. Total orders jumped 219% year-over-year to $329 million. Marketplace GOV also increased significantly, rising 222% year-over-year to $9.9 billion, up from Q4’s $8.2 billion. GAAP gross profit increased 233% year-over-year to $493 million, which was up from $477 million in Q4, and adjusted EBITDA was $43 million, compared to an adjusted EBITDA loss of $70 million in Q1 2020.

Click for more Modern Shipper articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected].